The boyfriend of a longtime Atlanta drag queen pleaded guilty to shooting and killing her as a dispute over dinner turned violent, the final argument in a years-long tumultuous relationship.
Frank Davis Bowles, 60, pleaded guilty to malice murder on Wednesday in the Oct. 3, 2014 killing of his partner, 60-year-old Kitty Litter – whose legal name is Samuel Collins and is known as Kitty Collins on Facebook. Cobb Superior Court Judge Ann Harris sentenced Bowles to life in prison, according to the AJC.
Two sisters of Collins were present in court Wednesday, and one read a statement.
“Frank, you are not a bad guy but you did a very bad thing,” Carrie Gunning said. “A thing that cannot be taken back or changed. And because of this bad thing we buried our brother.
“You have not denied what you did and even though it’s very hard, I must call it what it is … murder; as ugly as that is and as malice as it seems, it is still forgivable.
That is exactly what we have done, Frank, is to forgive you, totally and fully.”
Bowles (second photo) shot Collins several times as the two argued over the preparation of dinner. Bowles then dragged Collins' body into the woods, took her driver's license, credit cards and Honda Odyssey and fled the state. Three days later, on Oct. 6, a state trooper in Tennessee found a drunk Bowles inside the vehicle with a shotgun and the personal items of Collins in Cumberland County, about 90 minutes north of Chattanooga. Authorities notified Cobb police, who checked the house on Old Concord Road near Dobbins Air Reserve Base and found the body.
Bowles confessed to killing Collins and he was extradited to the Cobb County Jail, prosecutors said.
“The defendant and Collins had a long and often tumultuous relationship that spanned years,” Deputy Chief ADA Jesse Evans told 11 Alive. “Issues regarding domestic violence are not limited to gender or sexual orientation, and the consequences can be fatal.”
Friends of Collins reacted to the sentencing on her Facebook page.
“Justice has been served and I am thankful for this,” Sean Kelly wrote. “Her death has changed my life forever and hopefully one day now I can have closure. I will always love and miss my Sister and dear friend, but at least Frank will pay the rest of his life and afterwards for his horrible act of violence.”
According to Collins' Facebook page, she performed drag since 1972 in more than 200 clubs across 36 cities in 12 states. Collins performed over the years with drag legend Lily White, who grieved over the loss of her friend and fellow performer. Friends turned Collins' Facebook page into a makeshift memorial after her killing in October.
Collins performed with White and Alvina LaVerne as the Grease Sisters in the late 1970s and early '80s in clubs in Atlanta, across the Southeast and even in New England and Texas, White told Project Q Atlanta in October.
White and Collins had been friends and occasional roommates for nearly four decades.
“She was like my sister,” White said. “She was so small and petite, one of the most beautiful drag queens I'd ever seen. She looked like a doll.”
White said Collins' death shocked her.
“She has many friends. We are all trying to get over it now. I don't think I'll ever get over it. I never expected her to get murdered, especially by her ex boyfriend. It is devastating.”